Book Review: Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx by Joe Todd-Stanton

Book Review: Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx by Joe Todd-Stanton


In this follow-up to the wonderful ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’, Marcy and her father travel to Ancient Egypt…

Arthur is a world-famous explorer. He is now older and frailer, but still regales his young daughter, Marcy, with his thrilling adventures every night. Marcy, however, does not seem to share her father’s enthusiasm for danger and peril. Something seems to be holding her back and frightening her.

When Arthur sets out to retrieve the ancient Book of Thoth, he soon finds himself in trouble and Marcy is dismayed to discover the next day that her father has disappeared. She soon realises that it’s up to her to save her father.

Her journey will take her into the dark, terrifying depths of Ancient Egypt, where she must solve puzzles, crack hieroglyphs and face an evil god, determined to rule the world. Will Marcy save her father, face her fears and save the world?

Themes:  Facing fears, relationships, bravery, courage, independence.

Why you should read it:  I really do love this book. It’s gorgeously atmospheric, exciting and full of adventure. Marcy is a wonderful character – brave, witty and clever. It’s lovely to see her develop throughout the story, as her confidence grows. I spent an afternoon with teachers poring over the clever details and illustrations and discussing the complex relationship between Marcy and her father. Not only does it work as a thrilling adventure story, it also beautifully explores a fragile relationship between father and daughter and the need for everyone to face their fears, challenge evil and shine a light in the darkest of places.

Cross-curricular links: History (Ancient Egyptians – gods and goddesses, hieroglyphs) English (fact files about Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, adventure stories, diaries from Marcy’s perspective), Geography (settlements, importance of the River Nile), Science (light and shadows, stars, the solar system, Ancient Egyptian inventions), Art/Design Technology (creating a sequel to the story in the same style or moving picture book, creating Ancient Egyptian jewellery and artefacts from clay)

Perfect for: Children aged 7-9

Published by: Flying Eye Books

Please do leave a comment if you have used this book in your own classroom and how you used it!

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